Annual Honors Day Symposium Moves to Virtual Format

Annual Honors Day Symposium Moves to Virtual Format

For the past 17 years, PC students have presented honors research in the spring during the College’s Honors Day Symposium. 

Students have often given presentations to standing room only crowds. It wasn’t uncommon to see professors, classmates, parents and other loved ones standing shoulder to shoulder in classrooms in Neville Hall, eagerly listening as students presented research they’d been working on for a semester or more.

Music and art students have their time on Honors Day too. In the afternoon, music majors performed recitals in Edmunds Hall. The work of art majors was displayed in an exhibit in the Harper Gallery Art Center for the entire semester. A reception was held on Honors Day.

Honors Day moves online

But that was before PC, like many colleges and universities, had to transition to online classes, close campus, and cancel or postpone events due to the coronavirus. 

Although campus is closed, the annual Honors Day Symposium will still take place. This year will mark the first year the event will take place online. Students will be able to share the results of their scholarly efforts with the campus, albeit they’ll do so virtually.

Students will submit pre-recorded videos of their presentations, which will then be uploaded to YouTube and linked to a virtual symposium website. Questions and discussions will also happen online.

“I hope that our virtual Honors Day Symposium can bridge the required social distancing we are currently facing and allows us as a community to come together to share and discuss ideas even if we are not physically in one room or building,” said Dr. Stefan Wiecki, history professor and organizer of the Honors Day Symposium.

The program was pushed back a week to adjust to the format change. The abstract submission was extended to March 23 because of extended Spring Break and to give students more time to submit their presentation proposals.     

Mock TED Talks

Even before the pandemic, the schedule for this year’s symposium included mock TED Talks. Some students were already planning to share their own “ideas worth spreading” in 5- to 10-minute presentations modeled after TED Talks. 

All mock TED Talks will focus on diversity. They can range between race, culture, age, gender and religion, according to Wiecki. 

“The talks will give students the chance to share the ideas or solutions they are passionate about, while improving their research abilities and public speaking skills,” Wiecki said.

While many campus events have been cancelled, Wiecki said it was important that Honors Day continues this year. 

“Honors Day allows PC students to share their research and accomplishments with the wider campus community,” he said. “It is a very important event for students to present their ideas and receive feedback from their classmates, faculty and staff.  

“The world is developing rapidly. PC is committed to moving forward into the future with the newest and most efficient methods of learning and delivering ideas.” 

More about Honors Day

Please visit Honors Day Symposium to learn more about the annual event.